Hunters harvest 1,319 deer in county

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources, IDNR, reports that hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 72,111 deer during the opening weekend of the 2012 Illinois firearm deer season, which was Nov. 16-18.  

The second portion of the firearm season begins Thursday, today, and continues through Sunday, Dec. 2.

The preliminary harvest total of 72,111 for the first three days of the 2012 firearm season compares with the first weekend harvest of 66,501 deer during the 2011 deer season.  

The top county harvest total last weekend was in Pike with 2,108 deer, followed by Fulton with 2,048, Adams 1,938, Jo Daviess 1,877 and Randolph 1,665.  

In Union County, hunters harvested 1,319 deer during the first part of the firearm season.

Harvest totals for other area counties included 304 in Alexander County, 1,621 in Jackson County, 1,309 in Johnson County, 463 in Massac County, 439 in Pulaski County and 1,145 in Williamson County.

For the entire seven-day firearm season in 2011, hunters harvested 98,820 deer.  

The preliminary first-season figures reported for each county include those deer taken on special hunt areas within that county as well as on private land.

“Hunters enjoyed near perfect conditions during our first firearm weekend,” said Paul Shelton, IDNR forest wildlife program manager.  

“Temperatures were cool, winds were calm, crops were out of the fields, and rutting activity was ongoing. We hope hunters enjoyed their time in the field.”

Approximately 60 percent of the deer taken during the first weekend of firearm hunting were bucks, compared with 61 percent bucks taken during the first weekend of the firearm season in 2011.  

IDNR has issued more than 334,000 firearm deer hunting permits so far for the 2012 season.  

For information about remaining permits, check the IDNR website at

Remaining firearm deer hunting opportunities in Illinois include the second segment of the firearm season Nov. 29 through Dec. 2, the three-day muzzleloader-only deer season Dec. 7-9, and the seven-day split late-winter firearm antlerless-only deer season and special CWD deer season Dec. 27-30 and Jan. 18-20, 2013.

Hunters are reminded that 10 fewer counties will be open for the late-winter season in 2012-13. Counties where the season is open can be found on a map posted at

For more information about Illinois deer hunting regulations, check the IDNR website at

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